Why Outgoings Could Be More Significant Than Incomings For Liverpool And Man City

Despite Haaland and Nunez's arrival, the outgoings show signs of progression
08:00, 12 Jul 2022

Darwin Nunez has joined Liverpool for £85m this summer and star striker Erling Haaland has moved to title rivals Manchester City, all eyes have been on the incomings of the top two. But what may be even more significant for these two giants, is those that have gone out of the door this summer. 

As Neco Williams was pictured holding up a Nottingham Forest shirt, Liverpool were counting the coins of another smart sale. He may only be 21 and a Welsh international, but he is never going to be a first-team player at Anfield while Trent Alexander-Arnold is on the scene. £16m is another healthy sale of a fringe player, an area where the Reds have thrived in recent times. 

Even this summer, they doubled their money on Takumi Minamino as he left for £14m and if you combine those two sales with the £30m they got from Bayern Munich for Sadio Mane, they’ve made back £68m of the £85m they spent on Nunez. Mane is one of the only first-team players that Jurgen Klopp has lost during his tenure, with Coutinho the only other notable name but his inflated transfer fee paid for both Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker. 

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Liverpool have instead improved their starting XI every single season, and funded their improvement by selling these fringe players. And they seem to sell players at their absolute maximum value. Harry Wilson, Taiwo Awoniyi and Dominic Solanke will all play in the Premier League this season but all were judged not to be good enough to make the grade at Anfield. 

The Reds got £40m from those three sales, while the £16m they got from Bournemouth for Jordon Ibe has to go down as one of the biggest robberies in Premier League history. Time and time again Liverpool have made the most of their sales, and it seems Manchester City - after years of mega-spending are also recouping money this summer.

It’s certainly different to what is happening at Anfield, given they have spent £1bn on players under Pep Guardiola, but City are at least selling their fringe assets at a premium. They have recouped almost all of the £50m they spent on Raheem Sterling after seven years of service which is fine business, while they’ve made £15m profit on Gabriel Jesus five years after signing him. 

With their huge global revenue, neither of these clubs are totally reliant on player sales but it has come to a point where they have to be smart with who they let go, and particularly who they sell to. 

This is the first time in a decade that Man City have sold to a direct top six rival, with Arsenal picking up Jesus and Sterling joining Chelsea, but perhaps that teaches us two things. Number one, aside from a handful on the continent, the big boys that can pay these wages all pay in the Premier League. If they wanted to sell, the number of suitors were relatively small and the Citizens couldn’t afford to be picky.

But perhaps the second point is the bigger one. 

City can afford to let the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal have their fringe players. Not from a financial point of view, but from a footballing one. They have brought in Erling Haaland, invested heavily in Jack Grealish and Phil Foden is getting better and better. Perhaps they wouldn’t have sold to Liverpool, but for now, Chelsea and Arsenal aren’t quite title rivals. 

These ‘fringe’ players for both of the top two allow them more flexibility in the market. Liverpool have been around the block when it comes to getting the best deals, but City are finally seeing some return on their major investment. 

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